Gaya Amarasinghe

Professor of Pathology and Immunology, Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Professor of Molecular Microbiology

    • 3421 Citations

    Research output per year

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    Personal profile

    Research interests

    The innate immune system serves as a first line of defense against viral infections. Germline encoded pattern recognition receptors detect pathogens and promote innate immune responses, including activation of type I interferons (IFNs) and stimulation of antiviral genes. In addition to limiting infections, innate immunity is required to activate humoral responses and to develop long-term protection via adaptive immune response. Dysregulation of IFN signaling is detrimental to the host, resulting in events such as cytokine storms during infections or autoimmune disorders. In my laboratory, we use a multidisciplinary research program that spans length and time scales to address this question by characterizing the molecular mechanisms of initial interactions at the host-pathogen interface. Using this information, we expect to develop a framework to manipulate viruses by modulating virulence (less virulent) in order to gain insight into immune mechanisms that are at play during these critical time points. Our current efforts are aimed toward defining the molecular basis for viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) at the host-viral interface. VHF is a complex multivariable challenge with contributions from the virus and from the host dictating the outcome. We have begun a series of studies to understand the viral components, host factors and their interactions between each other. Below I briefly describe recent and recently completed studies that provide the experimental framework for us to examine these questions.

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    Research Output

    Fragment screening targeting Ebola virus nucleoprotein C-terminal domain identifies lead candidates

    Aceti, D. J., Ahmed, H., Westler, W. M., Wu, C., Dashti, H., Tonelli, M., Eghbalnia, H., Amarasinghe, G. K. & Markley, J. L., Aug 2020, In : Antiviral Research. 180, 104822.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Global phosphoproteomic analysis of Ebola virions reveals a novel role for VP35 phosphorylation-dependent regulation of genome transcription

    Ivanov, A., Ramanathan, P., Parry, C., Ilinykh, P. A., Lin, X., Petukhov, M., Obukhov, Y., Ammosova, T., Amarasinghe, G. K., Bukreyev, A. & Nekhai, S., Jul 1 2020, In : Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences. 77, 13, p. 2579-2603 25 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 2 Scopus citations

    Neutralizing Antibody and Soluble ACE2 Inhibition of a Replication-Competent VSV-SARS-CoV-2 and a Clinical Isolate of SARS-CoV-2

    Case, J. B., Rothlauf, P. W., Chen, R. E., Liu, Z., Zhao, H., Kim, A. S., Bloyet, L. M., Zeng, Q., Tahan, S., Droit, L., Ilagan, M. X. G., Tartell, M. A., Amarasinghe, G., Henderson, J. P., Miersch, S., Ustav, M., Sidhu, S., Virgin, H. W., Wang, D., Ding, S. & 5 others, Corti, D., Theel, E. S., Fremont, D. H., Diamond, M. S. & Whelan, S. P. J., Sep 9 2020, In : Cell Host and Microbe. 28, 3, p. 475-485.e5

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 7 Scopus citations

    Small Molecule Compounds That Inhibit Antioxidant Response Gene Expression in an Inducer-Dependent Manner

    Edwards, M. R., Liu, G., De, S., Sourimant, J., Pietzsch, C., Johnson, B., Amarasinghe, G. K., Leung, D. W., Bukreyev, A., Plemper, R. K., Aron, Z., Bowlin, T. L., Moir, D. T. & Basler, C. F., Mar 13 2020, In : ACS Infectious Diseases. 6, 3, p. 489-502 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • The Cap-Snatching SFTSV Endonuclease Domain Is an Antiviral Target

    Wang, W., Shin, W. J., Zhang, B., Choi, Y., Yoo, J. S., Zimmerman, M. I., Frederick, T. E., Bowman, G. R., Gross, M. L., Leung, D. W., Jung, J. U. & Amarasinghe, G. K., Jan 7 2020, In : Cell Reports. 30, 1, p. 153-163.e5

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • 1 Scopus citations